Since you're doing all that hands-free calling these days, it would only make sense that you would consider the possibility of hands-free texting as well. There are a number of reasons why someone would prefer to use a text message rather than a conventional voice call, but this doesn't necessarily mean that you need to place your fingers on that keypad!
The Dangers of Text Messages While Driving
When you are behind the wheel of your car, the last thing you want to do is get distracted. Your attention would be focused solely on the road, making sure that you are obeying all the posted signs and avoiding any possible accidents. Distractions from cell phones, adjusting the radio, and other similar technologies can account for quite a few of the fender-benders that we see on the highways today. That's largely why the California cell phone law and others like it were passed. You need to keep your hands on the wheel.
When thinking about driving safety and cell phones, most people can imagine a driver holding a cell phone against their ear, yapping away about this thing or that thing, not paying attention to the road's hazards ahead. Much worse than talking while driving, however, is texting while driving. We have invested in a number of different hands-free devices for calling, but very few people have considered the possibility of a hands-free texting solution. They exist; they just don't happen to be quite as widespread as a typical Bluetooth headset.
Hands-free Texting Technology
You may have heard the news stories saying that texting can kill. Not only are the drivers not keeping focused on the task of driving, they may have one or both hands on their phones, sending text messages rather than steering their vehicles. This can be hazardous both when the car is in motion and when it is stationary. You may think that you have enough time at that stoplight, because you are well-versed in the art of texting abbreviations, but a hands-free texting solution may be a much better choice if you absolutely must send out that SMS.
Yap is a mobile application that can effectively translate your voice into text, making it a great way to dictate your messages without having to place a single finger on your phone's keypad. While it may not be quite as accurate as having a secretary dictate your letter to a business associate, Yap is a fully automated application for cell phones that may be quite effective.
Further still, Yap is designed in such a way that the reverse process can also happen. In addition to working as a hands-free texting solution for outgoing messages, it can also convert text-to-speech and read incoming messages to you out loud in a robotic voice. Yap is being marketed largely as a solution for text messaging, but it can also be adapted to work with instant messaging programs, mobile blogging, Facebook updates, and so on. It is also available as a free download, because it generates revenue through sponsored contextual advertising.
Since the majority of your hands-free texting will take place in the car, it only makes sense that we would see a solution come from the Microsoft Sync system. Available on a number of Ford vehicles, Microsoft Sync is meant to be an all-inclusive in-car entertainment system. It'll handle the various sources of music that you feed it, it'll route your incoming cellular calls to the car's speakers, and it may also have a speech-to-text feature for hands-free text messages.One of the more popular types of cell phone hands-free devices is the in-car Bluetooth speakerphone, but most people see these systems as a way to chat on the phone without having to hold their phones. With the advancement of speech-to-text and text-to-speech technologies, they will also be able to send text messages and e-mail messages in a hands-free fashion.
Another way to get hands-free texting is with the solution from Mobivox. The Mobivox "Send Message" mobile phone service operates exactly like how you would expect it to operate. Just like the two previously mentioned systems, it is able to transcribe the words that you speak into text that can then be sent in the form of an SMS message. This conversion will also work for sending e-mail messages as well.The difference here is that the service from Mobivox is not free, but it does not require the installation of any specialized software. Instead, you pay about 49 cents for every outbound message. This may not sound like a lot of money, but it can add up quite quickly. Use with discretion. It should also be noted that Mobivox, based in Montreal, offers this service internationally and all you have to do is call the appropriate access number to use its service.